Man, where do I even start with this movie? Let me just say that in my opinion, Interstellar is the best Christopher Nolan film to date, and maybe the best movie of the year so far. While I think the movie does have some very big flaws (which I’ll get to) the scope and vision of the movie more than make up for all of it’s shortcomings. It’s been a very long time since I’ve seen a movie that dared to go as big as Interstellar, maybe even since 2001 (which this movie nods to more than a couple times). I completely understand a lot of the criticisms this movie gets, and agree that Nolan’s reach does exceed his grasp, but damnit, at least with Interstellar he’s reaching for something very, very few others ever try to.
The movie begins on Earth in the near future, and things aren’t looking good for humanity. Due to ‘the blight’, which is killing off all of our food, most of the population has died. NASA has been decommissioned and farming is now the way of life for most people on the planet. One of those farmers is Matthew McConaughey’s character Cooper (an ex-NASA pilot) and his two children Murph and Tom. Through a series of events that are odd and confusing at first, (but make sense and tie together later) Cooper is enlisted to help the remaining few NASA crew members go to space to find a new planet for humanity to settle. They do so by entering a wormhole that mysteriously opened by Saturn, which will transport them to the other end of the universe. This incredibly beautiful sequence is where the film really kicks into gear. (Keep in mind I’m just laying out the broad strokes here, there’s a TON of plot in this movie)
Let me start by saying this is an amazing movie for your senses. If you see it in theaters, you MUST see it in IMAX for the full experience. I’d say probably half of the film was shot in 70 MM IMAX format, and it’s a wonder to behold, especially when the plot takes the crew into space. There are scenes in this movie where I literally sat with my mouth open in amazement, completely transfixed by the images on the screen. The wormhole sequence in particular is one of the most beautifully realized concepts I’ve ever seen in a movie. Then again it’s no surprise as this is the same guy who gave us Inception and the Dark Knight. What really makes the movie that much more of an achievement is just how little CG was used, even for a movie that mostly takes place off-planet. The interior of their ships was all practically built, the exterior flying scenes looked as though a camera was placed on the ships, and even the planets were shot on location, with seemingly just the backgrounds filled in with CG. This goes a long way in making all of Nolan’s films a unique experience.
Along with the visuals, the music in this movie is also a home run. Hanz Zimmer knocked it out of the park again (K no more baseball metaphors) as his score perfectly compliments the visuals of the movie. I definitely cried more than once because of the beautiful but simplistic accompaniment by Zimmer. Nolan and Zimmer decided to ditch the big, booming sounds that he originated with Dark Knight (and now everyone seems to replicate) and in doing so, made something special for Interstellar. The use of pipe organs with the hypnotizing ambiance behind it work perfectly for Interstellar, and I’m sure as hell going to pick up the soundtrack once it goes on sale.
The final element I wanted to talk about is the acting in the movie. In particular, Matthew McConaughey. I love this guy. I’ve been a fan of his even when he was doing movies like ‘How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days’ and ‘Sahara’, or before the McConaissance began. He’s always had such a down-to-earth everyman appeal, and that’s perfectly on display in Interstellar. There are a couple scenes in particular that made me lose it simply from seeing him break down on camera. Anne Hathaway is also great once again, making you feel for her character that on the surface, doesn’t have a lot of dimensionality. The whole scene where she talks about love being the only thing that can traverse time and space could have been done WAY worse by a lesser actress, but by the end I was totally on board with that idea.
So that about wraps it up for Interstellar. I know this one ran a bit long, but damnit this movie deserves to be written and talked about. I guess I didn’t really get to the faults I saw in the movie as this was all stream of conscience and I got carried away by the hype train. I think the first act of the movie is actually pretty weak, due to almost every line being clumsily written exposition. I actually thought “Wow, I might not end up liking this movie” about thirty minutes in, but MAN things turn around pretty damn quick. Also, the whole ‘Dr.Mann’ portion felt a bit unnecessary to me, but I guess it did progress the plot to where it needed to go. Oh, and where it went near the end; the ‘library’, as I’ll call it to avoid spoiling anything for the uninitiated. That was another awe-inspiring moment. I can’t recall any movie I’ve ever seen that has the scope and ambition to go for something like that. The plot of the movie itself is a good allegory for what Christopher Nolan has done with Interstellar. It rockets into the unknown leaving behind a desolate landscape of reboots, sequels, and unoriginality in search of a brighter future for us movie-goers. I sure hope enough people come along for the ride.
Alright alright alright, sorry again about the length on this one. If you’ve made it this far I’ll buy you a drink or something sometime. I’ve seen a few movies recently that I can’t wait to write about on here, a couple of which are NIGHTCRAWLER and WHIPLASH, both of which are fantastic movies that you should see if you get the chance. Stay tuned for those, and thanks for checking out the blog!